Who said speaking out against nuclear power couldn’t be fun? Last week Greenpeace Mediterranean asked the Turkish public, “are you ready to live with nuclear?” by holding a highly visual performance from Abarjazz Avandgard Music Group in Istanbul. It was the first of many activities to come in the following months. Abarjazz Avendgard is a professional drumming group, that came to help us launch our campaign “I lovve nuclear” with an objective to knock out any chance of bringing nuclear power to Turkey in the future. The group played on barrels marked to look like radioactive waste, while wearing gas masks, and activists asked the government to end all nuclear plans present and future. It received a very positive response.
The Turkish government has spent decades entertaining the idea, and working to bring nuclear power here. So far, they have managed to go through the lengthy and expensive tendering process four times, and have failed all four times. Although, most recently, they accepted the one and only bid, from Russian company, Atomstroyexport, and against the tender’s own regulations, they accepted it. Greenpeace, and other local NGOs brought a legal case against such actions, and three days ago, the High Court restricted the conditions of the tender so significantly that it basically brought it to an end.
Even still, as good as this does sound, history has shown us that we cannot call this a full victory yet, but just another failed tender. In spite of repeated failures, calculated proof that nuclear power is incredibly expensive, and the examples of severe danger, such as Chernobyl, the Turkish government has not taken the nuclear option off the table. In fact, they still have another tender process on the agenda for 2010.
We intend to crush the beast while it’s down. From now until the anniversary of Chernobyl on April 26th next year, we will be pull together one million ‘radioactivists’ through our website ilovvenuclear.org. The campaign will be supported by several offline activities and tremendous outreach on the main social networking sites, and will promote the reality that nuclear power is expensive, dangerous and not the right solution for Turkey. One million voices cannot be ignored!
(This is a guest post by Stephanie Hillman, Programme Director for Greenpeace Mediterranean. More information is available in Turkish here. You can follow the ‘I lovve nuclear’ campaign on Twitter here and sign up to the Facebook group here.)